An AmeriCorps program connecting service members and under-resourced communities throughout Washington state
My name is Leah and I am one of the Food Education Coordinators at Solid Ground here in Seattle, Washington.
In my work, I seek to equip our participants with a solid foundation of nutrition, cooking, and consumer based store skills that they can apply to their daily lives to make well informed nutrition and finance centered decisions when preparing a meal. The participants I work with run the gamut of pre-school aged learners to seniors and at least 50 percent of these audience members use SNAP-Ed.
This is only my fourth week serving, so my experience as a member is limited. However, the information I have learned and the people I have met have shown me what I can expect to experience when serving. Thus far, I have seen just how much race implies food insecurity and other inequities. Of the people who reported being food insecure, 36% are Hispanic, 37% are black and, 10% are white. On a more personal level, I am more aware of how these impacts are realized in different parts of the nation. I have seen poverty manifested, expressed, and managed in comparatively different ways from the east coast to the west coast; reasons for homeless are different, resources to deal with homelessness are different, and race relations are different. Being able to see two sides of the same coin has reminded me of just how complex the nature of oppression is.
In the short amount of time I’ve lived/served here, I’ve been forced to reassess all that I thought I knew about community service, marginalisation, and vulnerability overall. I can only imagine there’s more for me to uncover.